Wireless modem


Wireless modem

Mobile phones can be employed as data modems to form a wireless access point connecting a personal computer to the Internet (or some proprietary network). In this use the mobile phone is providing a gateway between the cellular service provider's data network technology and Point-to-Point Protocol (PPP) spoken by PCs. Almost all current mobile phone models support the Hayes command set, a standard method of controlling modems. To the PC, the phone appears like an external modem when connected via serial cable, USB, IrDA infrared or Bluetooth wireless.

Wireless data modems are also used in the Wi-Fi and WiMAX standards, operating at microwave frequencies, to give a laptop, PDA or desktop computer an access point to a network. If combined with VoIP technology, these computing devices can achieve telephony capability to make and receive telephone calls.

History

While some analogue mobile phones provided a standard RJ11 telephone socket into which a normal landline modem could be plugged, this only provided slow dial-up connections, usually 2.4 kilobit per second (kbit/s) or less. The next generation of phones, known as 2G (for 'second generation'), were digital, and offered faster dial-up speeds of 9.6kbit/s or 14.4kbit/s without the need for a separate modem. A further evolution called HSCSD used multiple GSM channels (two or three in each direction) to support up to 43.2kbit/s. All of these technologies still required their users to have a dial-up ISP to connect to and provide the Internet access - it was not provided by the mobile phone network itself.

The release of 2.5G phones with support for packet data changed this. The 2.5G networks break both digital voice and data into small chunks, and mix both onto the network simultaneously in a process called packet switching. This allows the phone to have a voice connection and a data connection at the same time, rather than a single channel that has to be used for one or the other. The network can link the data connection into a company network, but for most users the connection is to the Internet. This allows web browsing on the phone, but a PC can also tap in to this service if it connects to the phone. The PC needs to send a special telephone number to the phone to get access to the packet data connection. From the PC's viewpoint, the connection still looks like a normal PPP dial-up link, but it is all terminating on the phone, which then handles the exchange of data with the network. Speeds on 2.5G networks are usually in the 30-50kbit/s range.

3G networks have taken this approach to a higher level, using different underlying technology but the same principles. They routinely provide speeds over 300kbit/s. A further evolution is the 3.5G technology HSDPA, which has the capacity to provide speeds of multiple Megabits per second.

Service Providers

There are competing common carriers broadcasting signal in most nations of the earth. Some of these Cellular networks and the carrier's service plans are:

North America

* Canada providers
** List of Canadian mobile phone companies

* United States providers
** T-mobile
** AT&T Mobility
** Verizon Wireless
** Sprint Nextel Corporation
** Alltel

Europe

* United Kingdom providers
** T-mobile
** Vodafone
** O2 plc
** Orange SA
** 3 (telecommunications)
* Spanish providers:
**Movistar
**Vodafone
**Orange (brand)
**Yoigo

Asia

* India providers
** BSNL
** VSNL
** Airtel
** Vodafone Essar
** Reliance Mobile
** Virgin Mobile India

Oceania

* Australia providers
** Telstra
** Optus
** 3 Mobile
** Virgin Mobile
** Vodafone

Device Manufacturers

* Danger
* Freewave Technologies
* HTC (includes Qtek and Dopod)
* Hewlett Packard (HP)
* Huawei
* LG Electronics
* Motorola
* Nokia
* Novatel Wireless
* Panasonic
* RIM (BlackBerry)
* Samsung
* Sony Ericsson
* Qualcomm

Technologies

* GPRS (2.5G)
* CDMA
* EDGE
* UMTS (3G)
* GPRS Core Network
* IP Multimedia Subsystem
* HSDPA (3.5G)

See also

* Smartphones
* Access Point Name (APN)
* [http://www.dovado.com/umr DOVADO USB Mobile Broadband Router (UMR)] is a low-cost router which supports USB modems. Offers 4 LAN ports, 802.11b/g WiFi, WAN and 2 USB2.0 ports for full power to the 3G USB modem.
* [http://www.infoferenda.eu Antennas and accessories for wireless modems]

External links

* By John R Chang
** [http://homepage.mac.com/jrc/contrib/tzones/ How To Use Your GSM Cell Phone as a Bluetooth Modem on Mac OS X]
** [http://homepage.mac.com/jrc/contrib/mobile_office/ How To Use Your CDMA Cell Phone as a USB Modem on Mac OS X]
** [http://groups.yahoo.com/group/maccellphone/ Support Group for Chang's pages]
* By Ross Barkman
** [http://www.taniwha.org.uk/gprs.html Table of settings by nation & network for APN, UserName, Password, DNS, SMTP, etc]
** [http://www.taniwha.org.uk/ Modem scripts (drivers) for Mac OS X]
* Software
** FreeBSD and Linux OS
*** [http://gprsec.hu/ | GPRS Easy Connect] is a free program which supports over 700 phones and over 270 service providers
** Windows XP OS
*** Motorola Phone Tools - [http://motorola.digitalriver.com/DRHM/servlet/ControllerServlet?Action=DisplayProductDetailsPage&SiteID=motostor&Locale=en_US&Env=BASE&productID=40171400 motorola.com]
*** Samsung PC Studio - [http://www.samsung.com/support/productsupport/download/FileView.aspx?cttfileid=1127840&type=Mobile+Phone&typecode=100100&subtype=Mobile+Phone&subtypecode=100101&cmssubtypecode=&model=SGH-T629| download]
*** Nokia PC Suite - [http://www.nokiausa.com/support/software/main| download]
*** Sony Ericsson PC Suite - [http://www.sonyericsson.com/spg.jsp?cc=gb&lc=en&ver=4000&template=ps1_1_3_4_1&zone=ps&lm=ps1_1&pid=10101&fid=9926&esi=true| download]

*** Mobile Router - [http://www.serialrouter.com/basics/mobile-router.html Mobile Router]


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